As per the draft bill the dance bar owner will have to sign an agreement mentioning the monthly salary, provident fund contributions and other benefits to be offered to employees.
The Maharashtra Cabinet approved the new draft bill for regulating the functioning of dance bars in the state. The new legislation has stringent provisions which will make it tough to run dance bar business. The proposed bill is likely to be tabled in the state assembly on Tuesday. As per the draft bill the dance bar owner will have to sign an agreement mentioning the monthly salary, provident fund contributions and other benefits to be offered to employees. It also has strict norms for preventing the exploitation of dance bars. A database of employees will have to be maintained and their attendance is to be recorded through biometric system. Women under the age of 25 will be prohibited from working as dancers.
Any person who touches or throws money at dancers inside the bars can face jail imprisonment and a hefty fine of Rs 50,000. The bill also have a provision of imposing fine of Rs 25 lakh for illegal operation of dance bar. It said that dance bars will not be allowed to remain open after 11.30 pm (earlier the deadline was 2 am). Consumption of alcohol will be permitted at these outlets but drugs will be strictly prohibited. The draft suggests those visiting dance bars must be over 25 years and carry a valid age and identity proof. It was approved at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on March 29.
The restrictions include not allowing dance bars to function inside residential buildings, maintaining a minimum distance of at least one kilometer from schools and places of worship, prohibiting alcohol in bar rooms, and placing a check on vulgarity. Dancers are prohibited from dressing skimpily and they won’t indulge in ‘vulgar’ dance. The Government in the bill has tried to put a check on the dress the dancers wear and the dance moves they perform.
Dance bars owners will have to install CCTV cameras at the entrance and floors. They will have to preserve the footage of the recording for the last 30 days. The owner faces a fine of Rs 10 lakh or imprisonment for 3 years if a dancer is ‘exploited’. The proposed legislation suggests deployment of women security guards. Waitresses and bar dancers have to give their consent if they wish to work after 9.30 pm.
Earlier this year, the Maharashtra government had issued certain guidelines for dance bar owners to issue identity cards and arrange for pick and drop for the dance bar workers.